All complaints must in the first instance be addressed to the company concerned. Financial services companies are required to have a complaints procedure in place and to advise their clients of its existence before undertaking any transactions. Clients may at any time ask for further copies of the complaints procedure, if necessary.
The Complaints Department of the firm involved will review the complaint, to determine responsibilities in the case and to assist the management of the firm to resolve the matter. The complainant(s) will be advised in writing by the firm of the outcome of its investigation together with an explanation of its position and details of any remedial measures to be taken. A resolution of the complaint on a mutually satisfactory basis can then be agreed between the parties.
If the complaint cannot be resolved in this way, the case may be submitted directly to CIFSA, or referred to CIFSA by the Insurance Companies Control Service (ICCS), a division of the Ministry of Finance. The procedure will then be as follows:
- The CIFSA Complaints Form which can be downloaded by clicking here must be completed in as much detail as possible, and must be accompanied by all the relevant copies of correspondence, notes and any other documentation which may be necessary for a proper understanding of the case. Additional submissions after the initial complaint is lodged will not be accepted. The paperwork should be submitted to:
PO Box 57041
marked “for the attention of the Complaints Department”.
- Complaints will be acknowledged by CIFSA as soon as possible after receipt, and will be entered into the CIFSA Complaints Register.
- CIFSA will at the same time ensure that the member Firm involved is made aware of the unresolved complaint, and will furnish it with copies of whatever additional documentation may have been submitted at this stage.
- CIFSA will ask the member Firm to appoint a representative from their Firm to investigate the complaint. Notification of this appointment must have been provided to CIFSA within 2 weeks of such a request.
- CIFSA will in a reasonable timescale complete its investigation and advise the parties of its findings once all relevant and requested documentation has been obtained from the member firm. If the complaint has been routed through the ICCS to CIFSA then a copy of the CIFSA report will be sent to the ICCS.
- CIFSA may only consider complaints raised directly by a client of a member firm. Should at any stage legal representation be engaged by any party CIFSA shall immediately withdraw from any mediatory or investigatory role.
It should be noted that whilst CIFSA strives to assist complainants and member Firms to amicably resolve any complaints, it has no legal power to decide for either party. CIFSA is only able to offer an opinion. In certain circumstances, CIFSA is able only to offer its opinion to the regulator, and must advise the complainant to refer to the regulator or to a legal representative should they wish to take the complaint further.